“My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four.
Unless there are three other people.” ~Orson Welles
My parents owned a candy store while I was growing up.
Ice cream sundaes, chocolate egg creams, licorice whips, and Mary Jane’s sound like every kid’s dream, but it turned into a lifelong love of all things sweet and creamy and a lifelong struggle with attaining—and maintaining—a healthy weight.
I’ve done all the diets. You name it; I’ve probably done it. And I know that dieting and completely changing your way of eating is overwhelming and disorienting.
So, I look for easy ways to make changes that improve health.
Here are 4 easy ways to lose weight.
1. My friend, Michael, who lost his brother Rex to heart disease, contributed this first one. Rex was obese and required a septuple (7) bypass heart surgery. His death caused Michael to take a hard look at himself and his own health. He was 55, overweight, and pre-diabetic. His two favorite foods were ice cream and French fries, and he ate these pretty much every day.
For starters, he gave up eating just those two things. He was surprised by the difference the change made. Within a year he had lost weight, but most importantly, he was no longer pre-diabetic.
What are the two foods you eat the most that are adversely affecting your health? Stop eating them and see what happens.
Now, you can’t give up French fries and replace them with onion rings or anything else. You need to take them out of your diet completely. See that was easy.
2. Another way you can improve your health and lose weight without making it a big deal is to change your plate size. Start eating your meals on a nine-inch salad plate. That alone is going to decrease your food intake. One reason many of us are overweight is that we eat too much. We no longer know how much is enough.
To take it one step further, divide your nine-inch plate into quarters. One quarter is for protein (meat, chicken, fish, eggs); another quarter is for carbohydrates (pasta, rice, potatoes, bread), and the last two quarters are for vegetables. This is a simple way of getting accustomed to appropriate portion sizes. This alone will help you eat the right foods and the right amounts of those foods.
3. Another straightforward method of eating well is to buy foods only from the perimeter of the store. The aisles around the outside have all of the fresh foods: meat, fish, produce, dairy. The aisles in the center of the store have all of the processed foods that are definitely not the best choices for a healthy diet.
4. One of the easiest ways to lose weight is to stop drinking high-calorie beverages. A 20-ounce sugared drink (soda, iced tea, energy drink, juice) has approximately 250 calories. A Big Gulp has 500 calories. If you switched one 20-ounce sugary drink a day to a glass of water or a zero-calorie beverage—and if you kept everything else exactly the same—you would lose over 26 pounds in a year. Give up one Big Gulp a day, and you would lose 52 pounds in a year. Add some small changes to your diet, and that weight will start melting off.
Consider 250 calories times 365 days per year is 91,250 calories. Divide that by 3,500 calories per pound, and you come up with a weight loss of 26 lbs.
We’ve just talked about four easy ways to change your health:
1. Stop eating two foods you eat often that are not good for you.
2. Eat your meals on a nine-inch plate divided into quarters.
3. Eat only foods from the perimeter aisles of the supermarket.
4. Give up sugary beverages.
Choosing any one of these will get you started on a healthier road today. Which one will you choose?